Men’s Tennis ready for 2014

Dylan Nuzzo
Junior Dylan Nuzzo

The Pitt-Bradford men’s tennis team is set to continue its 2014 season on Thursday, March 20, as the Panthers host Keuka College at 5:30 p.m. in Olean, N.Y.

The Panthers begin the bulk of their 2014 schedule with this match, despite having already played a single exhibition match on Feb. 22 versus Westminster. Pitt-Bradford suffered a 5-4 defeat.

When asked what the Panthers need to do in order to make a successful run at the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship, head coach Susan Schenfield responded quickly. “Patience,” said Schenfield. “To develop patience we have returned to our tennis roots of consistency drills. It is this consistency that will allow us to play a patient, winning brand of tennis.”

Pitt-Bradford returns a strong nucleus of players, including five starters. The team has also added four talented players that will take the court for the Panthers for the first time.

Of the five starters, junior Dylan Nuzzo returns as captain of the Panthers’ squad. Nuzzo has a good knowledge of point of construction and placement, according to Schenfield. After dealing with nagging injuries last year, a healthy Nuzzo should be a force in the lineup.

Senior and Co-captain Travis Scida, is a crucial part of the returners and the 2014 lineup. Scida will be counted on to play a big role in both the singles and doubles portions of the matches. Scida has the ability to drive the ball down the line or attack the defender with a crosscourt shot. “When points matter, Travis is at his best,” said Schenfield.

Senior Allan Miller will be relied on for leadership and experience throughout the season as well. He is known to be a fierce competitor on the court and opponents have to earn wins against him.

Junior Ian Vaughan came on strong for the Panthers a year ago and has been a great addition to the program. He strikes the ball well and has a strong all-court game that will allow him to be a huge contributor. He also possesses leadership characteristics that make him known as a vocal leader.

The final returner is sophomore Thai Dao. Dao has a solid baseline game and strong forehand, according to Schenfield. He can get around his backhand and use his forehand side to return the ball and pressure his opponents with the precise angle of his shots.

Of the four new additions, none will be looked to for immediate success more than freshman Konstantin Teverovskiy. Teverovskiy will have an opportunity to play high in the singles and doubles lineup. “He is a smart, all-court player who can make adjustments on the fly and force his opponents to make mistakes,” said Schenfield.

Freshman Jordan Dugan joins the Panthers this year and has been putting in a lot of work during the offseason. He enters the year as one of the most prepared players due to his work ethic. He looks to make an impact in the lineup.

Junior Michael Fitzpatrick joins the team as a high energy player who always carries a positive attitude with him. He represents himself well on the court and is developing an aggressive style of play. He uses sharp angles with his shots, allowing him to pressure his opponents from all areas of the court.

The final member of the squad is freshman Rilan Galicic. Galicic has good technique on his strokes and his forehand generates a lot of power. According to Schenfield, his crush-and-rush style of play at the net enables him to break open a point quickly.

The Panthers face a strong schedule and expect every match to be a challenge. In order to be successful, the long rallies that often occur during tennis matches need to result in points for Pitt-Bradford. With the patience described by Schenfield, and a tenacious work ethic, the Panthers have a chance to make a run at each of their goals this year.